On Sunday July 25th, 2021, the 33rd edition of the Galway Film Fleadh ended after another outstanding year. This year the Fleadh moved outdoors, a first in the festival’s history and was a huge success in the summer sunshine. Festival goers were also able to see the best of Irish and international film premieres online and in cinema.
The annual awards ceremony took place online before the closing film Galway-made exposé on institutional abuse Untold Secrets.
The winner of Best Irish Film, in association with Danú Media was Here Before, a taut and sophisticated psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland, starring Andrea Riseborough as a bereaved mother whose new neighbours stir up uncomfortable feelings of grief. Here Before is the feature debut of television writer and Belfast filmmaker Stacey Gregg.
Winning Best Irish First Feature was Foscadh, an Irish language drama set in the stunning wild mountains of North Conamara, and starring Dónall Ó Héalai in a delayed coming-of-age tale directed by Seán Breathnach.
Pure Grit, won the best Irish documentary award on the night, directed by Kim Bartley, about the male dominated world of Native American bareback horse racing and Sharmaine, a young woman determined to become a champion.
The winners are as follows :
Short Film Winners
International short winners
Best international Doc Short – MAMA Directed by Pablo de la Chica and produced by David Torres
Best international Animation Short – Homebird Directed by Ewa Smyk and produced by Leah Jones
Best international Fiction Short – Leylak Directed by Scott Aharoni, Dennis Latos
Best Debut Fiction Short: Bump Written & Directed by Rory Keenan and produced by Roxanne Holman
Best Debut Animation Short: Bardo Written & Directed by Aisling Conroy and produced by Claire Lennon
The Donal Gilligan Award for Best Cinematography in a Short Film in association with Irish Society of Cinematographers – Faitíos (The First Fear) DirectedbyMartha Fitzgerald with Cinematography by Alba Fernandez
Oscar Qualifying Awards
The Tiernan McBride Award for Best Fiction Short in association with Network Ireland Television: Saul & I Written & Directed by Jon Beer and produced by Brian J. Falconer
Best Short Documentary Award in association with TG4 – Nothing to Declare Directed by Garrett Daly
The James Horgan Award for Best Animation Short – Memento Mori Directed by Paul O’Flanagan, written by Paul O’Flanagan and Laura O’Flanagan, and produced By Louise Ní Chonchúir
Individual Artist Awards
Pitching Award – Giles Brody with his teen caper, Top Marks.
Bingham Ray New Talent Award in association with Magnolia Pictures – TJ O Grady Peyton
Best Marketplace project in association with Bankside Films – ‘Lakelands’ – Production Company Harp Media (Ireland) – Producers Robert Higgins & Patrick McGivney.
We are thrilled to partner with the Galway Film Fleadh Marketplace once again on the award for Best Project. Congratulations to Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney of Harp Productions on winning the award for their project LAKELANDS. The voters agreed that it is a well-developed story with a marketable concept which has the clear potential to appeal to distributors, international film festivals and audiences alike
Stephen Kelliher – Managing Director at Bankside Films – UK
Feature Film Awards
Inaugural Young Audience Award – Ride the Wave
Peripheral Visions Award – EL PLANETA
Best Irish Documentary – PURE GRIT
Best Irish First Feature – FOSCADH
Best Irish Film (in association with Danu Media) – HERE BEFORE